Police messages; the Hospital; local housing and buses

March 2013

Police Matters
You will be aware that a 16 year old was killed on the A31 at Ringwood by a hit and run driver. Police are looking for a grey Volvo XC90 4x4. If you know of one that has been damaged recently at the front end please contact Dorset Police on 101 quoting 24:393

Cars have been broken into in Durlston Crescent, Grasmere Close and River Way – all during daylight hours.

A man and a woman called at a number of addresses in the Jumpers area asking for money. On two occasions the woman told residents that she was pregnant and needed money to get to Bournemouth. They have also been witnessed knocking on doors and then heading to the rear of a property in Albion Road and in Dreswick Close.

The man was described as in his early 30's, tall and skinny and wearing a black jacket. The woman was said to be a white, in her early 30's, possibly pregnant, about 5 foot 4 with short dark hair and possibly a Scottish accent. She was wearing a distinctive purple coat and jeans.

If you have seen anything suspicious please contact Dorset Police on 101 or Crime stoppers on 0800 555 111 quoting incident number I03:264.

We hope to have a meeting scheduled in May to meet the new Police Commissioner Martyn Underhill.  Let us know of any topics you would like us to raise with him.

Question Time
Our thanks go to those of you who attended our meeting on 28th February and to those who sent apologies for having to miss a very successful event.  There was standing room only and residents heard some illuminating and interesting views from the panel on a wide range of subjects.

We were also grateful to Richard Renaut of the Bournemouth and Christchurch NHS Trust who was in attendance and answered a number of questions about the planned developments at Christchurch Hospital

Before Question Time WCRA Chairman Jim Biggin gave his annual summary of events. His comments relating to 2012 are on the website www.wcresidents.co.uk and click on “latest updates”

Christchurch Hospital
A very big thank you should go to everybody who distributed leaflets in the area and to all of you who took a moment to contact CBC and give your views on the plans for Christchurch Hospital. The overwhelming majority of us are in favour of retaining and enhancing the local facilities.
The CBC Planning Committee is due to meet on 14th March at 6.00pm in the Council Chamber to give its verdict. This is a public meeting if you want to attend. Councillor Colin Bungey will be speaking on our behalf.

We asked both Bournemouth NHS Trust and the local Macmillan Unit to let us know the level of their support for this development.
Tony Spotswood Chief Executive of the NHS Foundation Trust said:

We are writing to publically state our clear intention to keep NHS services in Christchurch. We have spent the last two years working hard to ensure we have a scheme that protects services and delivers many other community benefits.

Neil Williams, Trust Secretary of the Macmillan Unit said:

We hope that the new plans that the Hospital has drawn up will be acceptable to everyone and planning permission will be granted. If permission is not granted this will put the Hospital in a difficult position, and the effect on our Charity and the Macmillan Unit will be another lengthy period of uncertainty where we cannot make plans for the future.

The deadline for expressing your opinion has been extended so if you haven’t previously done so please take a moment to register your views by sending an e-mail to:
Give your name and address and quote application numbers 8/13/0028 and 8/13/0029. All e-mails must be received by CBC on or before 13th March 
Council Consultations
There are a number of council consultations taking place in March/April

CBC is running a Flood Fair on Saturday 23rd March 10.30-15.30 in the Council Chamber at the Civic Offices. The Environment Agency, DCC, The Fire Service, The National Flood Agency, will all be present. We have asked CBC to try to ensure that Bournemouth Council is present because it is they who monitor the erosion at the back of Hengistbury Head.

CBC is also seeking views on its draft housing strategy 2013-16. They tell us:

Considering the importance of new development, affordable housing, homelessness, house conditions, the private rented sector and housing for vulnerable people, the draft Housing Strategy sets out our proposed objectives for the next three years; how we intend to address them through collaborative working with our Partners and how our actions can contribute to the health and well-being of local residents, and to the social and economic benefit of Christchurch and East Dorset.

We would very much welcome your input into our next Housing Strategy and hope that once you have read the document, you will participate in our online Consultation Survey

Go to www.wcresidents.co.uk and click on “latest updates”

DCC is running a Bus Transport Consultation:

Dorset County Council is consulting with members of the public to find out what their bus travel priorities are, which will help important decisions to be made about the future of local bus services in Dorset.

Although the majority of local bus services in Dorset are operated by bus companies on a commercial basis, the county council subsidises many socially-necessary bus services through contracts with bus operators. At the moment, around 11 million individual journeys each year are made by bus in Dorset with about 25% of these being made on these subsidised services.

Residents are being asked to help shape the future of the public transport network in Dorset, by taking part in a Bus Services Consultation through completing bus service questionnaires and returning those questionnaires to the Dorset County Council passenger transport team. A separate questionnaire is available for people who use, or are thinking of using, community transport such as community car or community bus schemes.

The deadline for the submission of completed questionnaire survey forms is Monday 15 April 2013. The forms can be completed online

If you care about local buses it is vital that you respond to that one. It may be that you have an elderly relative that will be affected and that you should perhaps respond on their behalf.

Go to www.wcresidents.co.uk and click on “latest updates”

Town Centre Problems
Christchurch Chamber of Commerce has undertaken a town centre survey amongst local businesses. Almost a quarter of those who responded (about 60% of those who were approached) were considering moving to another location! The main reasons given for this were poor transport links, poor and expensive parking facilities, fierce competition from other locations such as Ringwood and Castle Point.

Christchurch is in their majority view too downmarket with a poor range of shops. They mostly felt that CBC policies were detrimental to local businesses!

DCC and Street Lights
DCC have asked us to let you know why fairly new street lights are now going to be replaced:

These works may cause some surprise and residents may contact you having jumped to the conclusion that DCC is paying for the same works twice. We can assure you that this is not the case.

At few years ago our contractor changed the supplier of their lighting columns. Unfortunately they failed to specify the corrosion protection correctly and the error was then compounded by poor workmanship and quality control during the painting process. The mistakes were soon spotted by DCC officers and brought to the attention of SSE Lighting Services. They decided to proceed with the column installation until DCC appealed to the independent arbitrator, who ruled that the columns were not compliant and prevented further installation.

There then followed a protracted period of discussion which has now been concluded by SSE deciding to replace the affected units at their own cost. It is important to stress that these columns are perfectly safe at the moment; they simply lack adequate underground corrosion protection

Hello New Zealand
During the month we were contacted by an umbrella group that represents the Residents Associations in Christchurch, New Zealand. These Newsletters will in future be going to New Zealand and we have put a link to their website at www.wcresidents.co.uk and click on Christchurch NZ in the list on the left hand side.

WCRA Subscriptions
Our subs will remain at £1 per household for 2013. We are busy organising our collections, which will commence in April. We always need help with this activity so if you could spare some time to help us to collect those membership dues please do get in touch

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